Helping Moms Find Work/Life Balance Options
Written by: Leanne Berry
I love my work. I love being a mom. But being a working mom is not without its challenges (as every working mama knows).
As a CPA and mother of three, I realized it wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought to “have it all” in both my personal and professional life with a traditional 9-to-5 work schedule. I found myself struggling with the expectation to give 100% at work and 100% at home. I knew there had to be a better way to find a synthesis between my work life and personal life. What I found was that it wasn’t about “having it all” as it was about “having options.”
My own quest for work/life balance led me to launch Mom Corps here in Chicago. Mom Corps is a national staffing company that connects employers with professionals looking for meaningful work opportunities that have some component of flexibility. I wanted to offer “an option” and be a resource to those who are looking to find jobs that are non-traditional as it relates to time, place or duration. In addition to working with candidates, we partner with companies to help them understand why and how to use a flexible workforce to build productive and cost-efficient teams.
Local Flexible Work Options
Moms have an increasing number of work options available to them. I have spoken with so many talented and AVAILABLE people who are really interested continuing their careers. However, it just looks different than the traditional corporate climb at this stage in their life. There are flexible options out there for moms who want to find the right balance between their professional and family lives. For example, right now I am looking to fill the following positions:
- Client Services Manager. This is a great "Mom Corps" brand job because it is a virtual opportunity. The client is looking for that professional candidate who can work independently but also understands the importance the demands of client service and relationships. The candidates I have submitted have been rock star marketing/sales professionals who would love to bring their corporate experience to the job while also being able to work from home.
- Part-Time Staff Accountant.For this position, the client is looking for someone who is experienced but not necessarily interested in climbing a corporate ladder. In this position, the accountant would work directly with the company’s CFO. He has four daughters himself and understands work/life balance issues. However, he knows that he will find an experienced candidate from our database who can "plug and play" and get the job done. In return, he is willing to offer flexibility to manage family matters/issues.
- Attorney. We are working with an attorney who has her own firm (3 female partners) and is looking for someone with corporate legal experience to help her with project work. This is also another great opportunity for someone who has taken a break from the corporate law firm demands to raise their family but who would like to work on a limited/project basis to stay engaged. This position offers the flexibility to work remotely and simply take on a project task and meet a deadline.
Finding YOUR Work/Life Balance
I know that discussions about moms looking for work/life balance can seem cliché (i.e. my work and personal lives will never be balanced). At Mom Corps we like to think of it more as work/life alignment. Having a flexible job can allow you to maximize your commitment to family obligations, work requirements and personal productivity. I advise my job candidates to keep these three points in mind when looking for THEIR perfect work/life alignment.
- Be in the “now.”Focus on your family when you are home and be efficient and focused when you are working.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a flexibility.You may think that asking for a flexible schedule will reflect negatively or make you appear less committed to the job. There are many mutual benefits of flexible work options for the employee and the employer. In fact, studies show that employees who have flexibility are more efficient, productive and even more importantly, loyal at work.
- Take time for yourself. Happy mom, happy family I like to say. As women, we tend to put our needs at the bottom of the list. Challenge yourself to put YOU at the top every now and again.
Bottom line: I know that there is a job option out there that will work for you and your family. Don’t be afraid to get out there and find it.